1. Entertainment

    (Most of) Sherlock Holmes Is Now Officially Part of Public Domain in the U.S.

    You know that Sherlock Holmes fanfiction you've been writing in your spare time? (Don't lie to us, somebody out there is totally doing it). You might be able to publish it without being forced to search+replace all the names of the characters first, because the majority of the Holmes canon is definitely public domain, a judge recently ruled.

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  2. Tech

    TomoNews Reminds YouTube of Its Roots in an Animated Letter about Copyright Changes [Video]

    Pretty much no one likes YouTube's copyright bot running around flagging videos as copyright violations wherever it wants—not even the copyright holders. At best, opinions on the subject range from indifferent to "kill it with fire." That's why TomoNews is here with a pretty hilarious animated letter to YouTube from content creators.

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  3. Tech

    YouTube Changed Its Copyright Policies, People Overreacted, Again

    It was already against YouTube policy for users to monetize videos that contain copyrighted content, but YouTube's recent copyright changes have given copyright holders the ability to flag copyrighted. Some problems with the new system have shown themselves, but it's not as though YouTube is unaware that newly implemented systems need work.

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  4. Entertainment

    Son of First Ever Doctor Who Writer Sues BBC For Breach of Copyright Over TARDIS

    Another day, another person suing the BBC for copyright over a beloved Doctor Who character or property. Now we've got a new contender -- Stef Coburn, whose father wrote the very first episode of the show that aired back in 1963, believes he's entitled to the copyright for the TARDIS.

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  5. Tech

    Good News For Sad People: This Charming Charlie Has Gotten a Copyright Reprieve

    At last, someone has spoken out against the copyright takedown threats against This Charming Charlie -- namely, Morrissey himself.

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  6. Weird

    Cosplayers Finally Facing Copyright Legal Action… Except It’s Over a Carpet

    Dragon Con is held at the same Mariott hotel in Atlanta every year, so the people behind Volpin Props decided to get extra-creative and dress up as the unusual-looking carpet that every con-goer knows and... well, tolerates. It was a huge hit with everyone -- right up until the carpet designers slapped them with a Cease & Desist. Womp womp.

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  7. Tech

    Microsoft Keeps Accidentally Sending Copyright Takedown Requests to Sites that Host Open Office

    You know how totally innocent companies and software keeps getting accused of violating another bigger company's copyright? Like, all the time? Well it's happened again, and this time the culprit is Microsoft, who seem to think that their open source competitor Apache Open Office has stolen from them somehow.

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  8. Weird

    Lawsuit Attempts to Drag “Happy Birthday” Kicking and Screaming Into Public Domain

    For decades, the charming ditty "Happy Birthday" -- a fixture of birthday parties from Chuck E. Cheese to the local tavern -- has existed under a dubious copyright by Warner Music, bringing in huge licensing fees for the company every year. Now, though, a documentary production company working on a film about "Happy Birthday" is suing Warner, alleging that the song is part of the public domain and the company's claims to its copyright are invalid. If this works out, it could spell the end of characters on TV shows awkwardly doing everything but the one thing that is invariably done at every birthday party ever -- sing "Happy Birthday."

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  9. Tech

    Hypocrisy-Off: Anti-Piracy Group Steals From Pirate Bay, Pirate Bay Files Copyright Lawsuit

    The Pirate Bay has, let's say, pretty liberal views on copyright laws, though they kind of have to, considering they're entire raison d'être is letting people share files illegally. hat means they're not the kind of people who would usually raise a stink over anyone copying something from them, but that hasn't stopped them from filing a suit against an anti-piracy organization they say copied files on which their site is built. Don't worry. They acknowledge the irony of the situation.

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  10. Weird

    Republican Staffer Behind That Amazing Copyright Reform Memo Basically Fired

    The Republican Study Committee released, and quickly retracted, a rather fantastic copyright reform memo last month. Though the political group apparently wants to forget the report ever happened, advocates of copyright reform across the Internet have latched onto it as a symbol of sanity in an otherwise crazy world. The staffer behind the memo, Derek Khanna, received a lot of praise from outsiders, but those within the Republican party apparently didn't think so highly of him. When Congress comes back in January, he'll be out of a job.

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  11. Tech

    Studios Demand Google Take Down Their Own Sites Because DMCA Really Works For Real

    Is it time to declare that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a mess yet? Because several major studios have requested that Google take down legitimate websites featuring their own content, including their Facebook pages, and in one case a direct link to a show's page on its own network website. The requests were most likely filed automatically by bots scouring the Internet for copyright violations, but still, when you ask Google to take down your own movie from iTunes and Amazon because of copyright violations that don't exist, you look like a jerk. Or at least an idiot. Yeah, probably an idiot.

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  12. Tech

    Copyright Troll Links to TorrentFreak in Legal Threat, Shenanigans Ensue

    It's fairly well-known that TorrentFreak is an excellent source for anything related to BitTorrent, copyright, and general piracy news. Due to this fact, it's understandable that any legal firm dealing with these issues would be familiar with it. Those that follow the site should know that TorrentFreak looks down on copyright trolls that send out mass notices. Prenda Law apparently didn't get the memo, as they've included a direct link to a TorrentFreak article in their latest legal threats. Well, TorrentFreak's responded by redirecting the link to a page on how to defend against such claims.

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  13. Weird

    Republicans Release Awesome Copyright Reform Report, Renege Within 24 Hours

    If you're the Republican party, how do you win the youth vote? A good idea would be to take a stance in support of something that the youth appear to have an interest in. Perhaps this was in the mind of House Republicans when the Republican Study Committee released a policy brief titled "Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it" on Friday. Unfortunately, it appears that not everyone agrees. Whether it's because of lobbyists or dissenting viewpoints, the group retracted their brief on the grounds that it had been disseminated "without adequate review within the RSC" less than 24 hours after it first went out.

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  14. Tech

    Attorney General Refers to MegaUpload Case as Successful, Ignores Legal Blunders Along the Way

    If multiple steps involved in a legal case were ruled as illegal for various reasons, any sane person would be hard-pressed to call that a success. That is, unless that person was only concerned with the ends and not the means. Attorney General Eric Holder is apparently one of those people that aren't too concerned, especially when it comes to the MegaUpload case. In a speech about grants being provided to fight intellectual property crime, Holder referenced MegaUpload as a shining example of what those funds could do.

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  15. Tech

    YouTube Finally Updates Copyright Procedures, Decides to Manually Review Some Claims

    Google's taken some flak in the past over the way YouTube handles copyright allegations. In order to stymie the flood of complaints from copyright holders, they implemented the flawed Content ID system that allows said copyright holders to essentially hold uploaded videos hostage. They can either take them down or place ads to monetize the content. The whole process is automated, and false positives run rampant. Thankfully, YouTube has announced that they're altering their algorithms and will even start reviewing some claims manually.

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